Tech Against Trafficking (TAT) is a coalition of leading technology companies—including Amazon, BT, Microsoft, and Salesforce—collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery using technology. By tapping into their technical expertise, capacity for innovation, and global reach, the four company members believe that technology can and must play a major role in preventing and disrupting human trafficking and empowering survivors. Together, this group has committed to working with anti-trafficking experts to identify and support opportunities to develop and help scale promising technologies.
THE ACCELERATOR PROGRAM
The Tech Against Trafficking Accelerator represents TAT’s flagship program. This collaborative program advances and scales the work of selected organizations with promising technology solutions by providing potential resources and support from TAT member companies, while building an ecosystem of actors that will provide ongoing support for the participant organizations over the course of the Accelerator. These resources may include technical expertise, network access, mentorship, access to funding, and educational opportunities, to accelerate the growth, scale, and resulting impact of high-potential tech solutions.
For the inaugural 2019 Accelerator, the Tech Against Trafficking members and advisors worked with the Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC) team at IOM to explore and promote best practices around data anonymization, privacy, and security. Over the course of the Accelerator, TAT and IOM partnered on workstreams related to privacy-preserving mechanisms, data standards, and increased platform engagement.
The privacy-preserving workstream explored a critical challenge: How can victim case data and its analysis, essential to developing strategies to combat trafficking, be shared in ways that protect the privacy of the victims represented in the data?
Led by members of the Microsoft Research team, Tech Against Trafficking worked with IOM to develop a new algorithm to derive “synthetic data” from CTDC’s sensitive victim case data. Rather than systematically redacting cases, which results in a substantial amount of data being suppressed, the algorithm generates a synthetic dataset that accurately preserves the statistical properties and relationships in the original data. However, the records of the synthetic dataset no longer correspond to actual individuals and each is constructed entirely from common attribute combinations. This means that none of the attribute combinations in the synthetic dataset can be linked to distinctive individuals (or even small groups of distinctive individuals) in the sensitive dataset, or world at large.
In September 2021, CTDC released its first downloadable Global Synthetic Dataset, representing data from over 156,000 victims and survivors of trafficking across 189 countries and territories (where victims were first identified and supported by CTDC partners). In December 2022, CTDC released the second synthetic dataset, Global Victim-Perpetrator Synthetic Dataset, which was produced using an extension of the algorithm with added support for differential privacy.
Tech Against Trafficking has also worked with IOM on a data standards workstream to support the development of a common approach to collecting and recording case data related to human trafficking.